Lao PDR — COVID-19-Related Vulnerabilities And Perceptions Of Non-Lao Populations in the Lao People's Democratic Republic

25 Nov 2020 Laos Download
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve, early evidence suggests that the pandemic disproportionately impacted poor and vulnerable groups. Migrants often lack access to social protection and healthcare services in destination countries, with reasons including but not limited to language barrier, migration status, and personal finances. Over the years, the non-Lao population has increased from an estimated 45,438 in 2015 to 48,275 in 2019. This figure includes 41,894 from neighbouring countries in the GMS.2 It is estimated that migrants currently constitute 1 percent of Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s total labour force.3 A growing economy, coupled with demographic trends including an ageing population and declining birth rate, are key factors that drive demand for labour migration. Due to movement restrictions, limited access to information related to COVID-19 and fears about COVID-19 exposure, the vulnerabilities of these migrants are likely to be compounded during the pandemic.